Carl Barkemeyer wrote the book on How to Defend Drug Charges in Louisiana. Download your free copy to learn more about the criminal process and drug defenses in Louisiana.
Drug usage is very popular in Louisiana and is prevalent in every area of the state including Livingston Parish and Denham Springs. This usage of drugs can range anywhere from more recreational like smoking marijuana at a party to methamphetamine or fentanyl addiction by very long-time serious users with many criminal charges. Drug usage always starts with just possessing the drug which is a very serious offense in itself that carries strict punishments along with it. If you or someone you know has recently been charged with drug possession in the Livingston Parish area of Louisiana, we highly recommend you seek legal assistance immediately to help with your case. Carl Barkemeyer, criminal defense attorney has defended many drug possession cases over the years and can help you craft a case that can lead to a more positive outcome for yourself and your loved ones.
Usually, people just think of drug possession charges as having the physical drugs on your person. However, there are actually a few different types of drug possession spelled out in the Louisiana state laws that need to be understood before your defense case can start to be built. The first type is actual possession. Actual possession is when the defendant actually had the drugs on their person. One example is if the drugs are in your pocket or stuffed into your wallet. Officers may find these drugs on you when performing a search incident to arrest or even a pat down for weapons. Sometimes you may also present the drugs willingly to the officer if they ask whether you have drugs on you or not.
The next type of drug possession is constructive possession. This type occurs when the defendant is in possession of drugs that aren’t on their person but has dominion and control over the drugs. Therefore, if you knowingly and intentionally possess drugs that you have control over but aren’t on your actual person, the prosecutor may be able to prove drug possession in Louisiana. One example of this is if you have drugs in your glove compartment or a bag in the trunk of the car. You could try to argue that it wasn’t your bag or vehicle or you were just driving a friend’s car home. Therefore, you would have not intentionally and knowingly possessed the drugs. In fact, in this case you would have no dominion or control over the drugs since they didn’t even belong to you. On the other hand, if you owned the vehicle, that defense may not be believable to a judge or jury.
The final type of drug possession in Louisiana is joint possession. This occurs when two or more people possess the same drugs. For example, if drugs are found in a bag in the backseat of a vehicle with a driver and passenger. Both individuals could be in joint possession of those drugs if the surrounding facts could show beyond a reasonable doubt that is the case. Sometimes, one of the individuals will claim it was solely their drugs and not the other person’s. For instance, the driver may say it was theirs. This can be a good fact for the defense. However, one situation that defeats this defense is if the officer testifies that they witnessed the passenger exchange money for the drugs, then the driver could lose credibility and his statement that the drugs were only theirs may lose value. It is very important to understand which kind of possession you are being charged with so that a sound defense can be built for you.
Punishments for drug possession vary widely and depend on both the type of drug that was caught as well as the weight/amount of the drug. For example, first and second marijuana offenses are only misdemeanors and carry much less strict punishments than say cocaine charges. The weight of each of these drugs will also affect how severe your penalties are. They can go anywhere from a small fine that needs to be paid all the way to 10 years of prison time or even longer. However, if you are able to build a strong defense for your case, you can seek alternatives to these punishments like treatment and rehabilitation which will have a much more positive impact on your future and those around you. Sometimes, you may even be able to get the case dismissed wholly if you are able to prove that the drugs were in fact not yours or not in your possession at the time of arrest.
Early intervention is one of the most important steps for defending your drug possession case in court. We highly recommend you contact us as soon as possible so that we can help you determine what kind of possession you are being charged with as well as helping you craft a case around your circumstances to help fight for your freedom. Carl Barkemeyer has years of experience successfully defending drug possession charges in Livingston Parish and other parts of Louisiana. Mr. Barkemeyer and his team of lawyers can help bring you peace of mind and will work diligently to find the most positive outcome for you and your loved ones. Drug charges are very serious in Louisiana that carry strong punishments with them, but with our help, you could be well on your way to drug treatment and rehabilitation instead of paying hefty fines or a long jail sentence. More and more people are arrested for drug charges in Louisiana every year, and we want to help those in need find a more successful future by overcoming their drug possession charges. Contact us at (225) 964-6720 for questions regarding immediate legal assistance for your drug possession case.